Local takes on new role
Tawa’s new community constable has a vested interest in making sure the suburb’s safe – she lives there.
An officer for six years, all of these on general duties based at the Porirua station, Sarah Riddering says it was ‘‘a combination’’ of being asked to apply and seeking out the position vacated by the long-serving Peter Reeves.
It was a protracted process, filling Mr Reeve’s boots, with Tawa without a dedicated community cop for some months, but Ms Riddering is happy to finally get her feet under the desk in the base on Cambridge St.
‘‘It’s only [been] week two, there’s plenty for me to get my head around – I haven’t even got a computer yet. But I’ve met the Tawa Community Patrol guys, some of the community board members, different retailers, and intend to do plenty more of that. People have been very welcoming.’’
The chance to be proactive and deal with community issues, rather than the reactive role she had before in Porirua, is appealing.
‘‘Working on the front line for six years has been good but I was interested in trying different things. Tawa’s got a lot of the structures already in place, so my job will just to be working with what’s already happening, and developing things if that’s what’s needed. You have to learn what the community requires, listen and get involved.’’
Originally from the small King Country town of Ohura, west of Taumarunui, means Ms Riddering is used to the smalltown atmosphere. It’s been a quiet start for her, the frigid weather keeping tagging and crime to a minimum.
Ms Riddering says she will be out at Tawa’s police base, in the community centre, on a daily basis.
Even when she isn’t, because a community constable has other duties as well, the ‘‘ superb’’ group of volunteers that man the office will ensure she gets all her messages.
‘‘We [the police] could not give the service we do without the likes of the volunteers.
‘‘I’m only one person here in Tawa, after all.’’
New on the beat: Tawa’s new community constable lives locally with her husband and is looking forward to interacting with people in her new role.